|Aer Lingus is hoping to use St. Patrick's Day the way other marketers use the Super Bowl.
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This week the airline for the first time is marrying its low-cost message with a branding campaign that will cost it a fraction of of the price for a spot during football's big game.
Along with a PR push and promotions with local pubs and other partnerships, Aer Lingus is running a print campaign that portrays the airline as consumer-centric, along the lines of other budget carriers such as Southwest.
"This is our first major, major push of the year," said Rosemarie Curran, advertising and marketing manager for Aer Lingus. "Our goal, in addition to promoting the fare and Ireland as a destination, is to promote the airline as the first low-cost transatlantic carrier."
The work, created by Interpublic Group of Cos.' Hill Holliday Connors Cosmopulos, includes a print around wrapping around the outside of about 20,000 copies of the New York Daily News to be given out along New York City's Fifth Avenue parade route. Earlier this week, the same strategy was used in Boston with wraparound covers going on Metro, the city's free daily newspaper. Moreover, a print campaign, promoting the $213 round-trip fare, is running in publications in Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles and New York.
Using the week of St. Patrick's Day as a platform was a no-brainer, but it did present a challenge in terms of the amount of Irish-themed clutter.
Leprechauns and shamrocks
"The streets are filled with leprechauns, four-leaf clovers and anything to do with Ireland," said Alon Shoval, Hill Holliday's executive vice president and creative director. "With our modest budget, we want to cut through that. We wanted to write something that wasn't just about Aer Lingus but how people feel on this day."